Health News

Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing Established

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD has established an Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing.

The group will support and advise government departments, who are responsible for progressing pilots and the rollout of rapid tests in their respective sectors. It will also be responsible for communicating to the general public.

The Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing will be chaired by Mary Horgan, Professor of Infectious Diseases and a Consultant at University College Cork (UCC).

Minister Donnelly said, “I am hugely grateful to Professor Horgan and the other experts on this group for supporting this initiative at what is a pivotal time for this country.”

“This Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Rapid Testing is tasked with supporting and advising government departments seeking to pilot and/or deploy rapid tests. I firmly believe rapid tests have a greater role to play in our fight against COVID-19.”

Details of the Group’s remit and membership were formally approved by Cabinet earlier today.

Professor Horgan said, “as COVID-19 will be with us for some time, we need to use every tool available to us to live safely. Our public health measures provide layers of protection against a virus that continues to surprise us.”

“Rapid testing should be considered an additional layer to the existing measures that protect us, such as vaccination, PCR testing, face masks, contact tracing and social distancing.”

The Terms of Reference are as follows:

  • Support government departments seeking to deploy rapid tests in their respective sectors.
  • Support government departments in the design and assessment of pilots for their respective stakeholders.
  • Provide guidance to government departments on the use of rapid tests.
  • Support government departments in developing and updating training material for areas/sectors where rapid testing is recommended/advised.
  • Support government departments in developing standard operating procedures for the use of rapid tests in settings where rapid testing is recommended/advised.
  • Maintain a list of currently validated tests for guidance.
  • Monitor rapid tests in development and those emerging on to the market.
  • Communicate the strengths and limitations of rapid tests to the general public.
  • Support development of a platform to upload results.

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